Welcoming Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to constitute a Special Investigation Division of police to investigate the murder of a BJP activist in Salem, BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged the Chief Minister to take a personal interest in the progress of the probe and ensure that the culprits are brought to book without delay.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu, who was in Chennai after attending the funeral of V. Ramesh, a State-level leader of the party, wanted the police to not only get to the bottom of the truth but also probe the possible links of the culprits with organisations behind other “planned and systematic” political attacks and murders in the past.
“There seems to be a pattern behind these attacks perpetrated by some fundamentalist groups,” said Mr. Naidu as he listed out several instances, including an aborted pipe-bomb attempt on the L. K. Advani-led ‘Jana Chetna Yatra’ near Madurai in 2011.
According to the BJP leader, such attacks could not be seen as isolated cases and should be viewed against the backdrop of Al Umma activities across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
“There are organisations with wide networks that keep changing their names from time to time to escape police scrutiny,” he said. Mr. Naidu, who felt that the government should have responded to an earlier threat to the life of Mr. Ramesh by providing security cover, said the brazen nature of the killing in a central part of Salem town was a “sad commentary on the functioning of the Tamil Nadu police.”
Calling for an end to the dangerous trend of political attacks and killings, Mr. Naidu said what happened in Salem “could happen to partymen from other political outfits tomorrow.” The BJP will observe protests across the State on Monday against the killing of the activist, he said.